After a Covid-enforced delay, Auto Express has published its 2021 Summer Tyre Test, with Hankook leading a list of nine top tyre brands. Each of the nine tyres displayed strengths in at least one of the test segments. The UK magazine used Continental’s Contidrom proving ground near Hanover in Germany to conduct its objective performance tests, enlisting the help of a local independent tyre tester to get around travel restrictions in the country before verifying the results. The problems of testing tyres in Europe with rules around travel in flux also affected the way Auto Express was able to get tyres to the proving ground; rather than acquire tyres on the open market, it asked manufacturers to send sets, verifying the test-topping tyres against regular production models after the fact. The magazine used the size 225/45 R17, as it had previously in 2018 – a very popular UK size for compact to medium-sized family cars, and in this case one fitted to the tyre test mainstay Volkswagen Golf.
Hankook is supplying its new Ventus S1 evo Z ultra-ultra-high performance tyres for the new Porsche Panamera in 19 and 20-inch variants. The tyre-maker extensively tested the tyre at maximum speed on the Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack, a popular proving ground for sporty handling and longevity. “The Porsche Panamera is a high performing four-passenger sports car with outstanding comfort,” says Sanghoon Lee, president of Hankook Tire Europe. “As such, we are very pleased to be the first to equip this model, as it shows that our products are extremely competitive even in the high-end segment. Additional tyres for future Porsche models are already in development at Hankook.” The tyre made its debut on the Mini John Cooper Works GP in late 2020.
Hankook has expanded its involvement in motorsport with the news that it is to be the new and exclusive tyre supplier to various European TCR series, which it will supply with the high-end Ventus Race tyre from this season. Hankook has supported TCR formats with great success in the past and, this year, TCR Europe enters its sixth season and will start on Hankook race tyres in seven different European countries.
We’ll have to wait another fortnight to learn the winner of this year’s Auto Bild summer tyre test, but the motoring magazine has let the names of the finalists out of the bag. Of the more than 50 tyre brands that Auto Bild looked at – this year in size 205/55 R16 91V – just 20 remain for further, more intensive testing following the qualifying round. Hankook’s candidate tops the shortlist after achieving the best stopping distances in both the wet and dry braking tests.
Hankook Tire says its new Ventus S1 Evo Z gives us a foretaste of the generation of ultra-ultra-high-performance tyres it will offer in future. We’ve gained a first glimpse of Hankook’s new UUHP rubber on the Mini John Cooper Works GP, where it sees duty as the exclusive original equipment tyre. The fastest roadgoing Mini ever to see light of day wears the Hankook Ventus S1 Evo Z in size 225/35R18 87Y XL.
Hankook will supply original tyres for the Audi RS 6 Avant and Audi RS 7 Sportback. Both models are due to be launched in 2020. Hankook will supply its Ventus S1 evo 3 UHP summer tyre and Winter i*cept evo 2 winter tyre in 21 or 22 inch dimensions. The new fitments extend Hankook’s original equipment business at Audi on its powerful RS models – it has recently supplied OE tyres to the RS 5 Coupé and the RS 4 Avant. The RS 6 Avant and RS 7 Sportback feature 441 kW (600 hp) engines, sprinting from 0-100km/h in 3.6 seconds. While they are high-performance sports cars, Audi has designed the models to offer space and comfort for the whole family.
Formula Renault Eurocup exclusive tyre supplier Hankook is looking forward to the second half of the 2020 series, describing it as “one of the strongest Formula series in the world.” Supplying its Ventus Race tyre since 2019, Hankook visited Zandvoort, Netherlands to mark the halfway point in the delayed 2020 season – the first time Formula Renault Eurocup has raced at the circuit since 2000. Victor Martins enjoyed three successful days at the circuit in the dunes on the Dutch coast, consolidating his position at the top of the overall standings, courtesy of a victory and a second place.
Hankook’s Ventus Race tyre is in action at three major series this weekend. The tyre follows up DTM, Formula Renault Eurocup, and 24H Series powered by Hankook action with events at the Nürburgring and the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Saturday’s race at the Nürburgring marks the DTM’s halfway point, with Sunday’s second race getting the second half immediately underway. The series lines up on the Grand Prix circuit for the first time for 19 years, including 17 corners and big changes in elevation. Hankook says the resulting compressions place great strain on the construction of the Ventus Race, as do the solid kerbs, which are taken at great speed.
Hankook will continue as the exclusive supplier of DTM for the next four years, having signed an early extension to its partnership contract with DTM marketer ITR. The tyre maker has been involved in one of the most popular international touring car series as official partner and exclusive tyre supplier since 2011. The new contract means Hankook will become the longest-standing tyre supplier in the history of the international racing series.
Hankook has supplied several demanding series in 2018, including the DTM, FIA Formula 3 European Championship, 24H Series powered by Hankook, the VLN Endurance Championship, and the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, with the Ventus Race tyre.
A third-place finish at the Hockenheimring in Germany yesterday sufficed for Gary Paffett to clinch his second DTM title. The British driver ended the season with 255 points, four points ahead of last year’s champion René Rast. This year’s victory in the touring car championship comes 13 years after Paffett won his first DTM title.
With his win at Brands Hatch last weekend, Paul Di Resta closed the gap with championship leader, fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Garry Paffett, to just 29 points in the overall standings. This was Di Resta’s third win in Brands Hatch and the tenth of his DTM career. Gary Paffett crossed the finish line as runner-up after 40 laps of racing.
Hankook’s ultra-high performance flagship tyre, the Ventus S1 evo², will be fitted to the latest Audi RS5 Coupé as original equipment in 19 and 20-inch sizes. The tyre manufacturer has previously supplied the tyre to Audi’s TT RS in 2016. The RS 5 Coupé will use the newly developed V6 biturbo engine, which combines performance with greater efficiency. This suitability for everyday use is, Hankook states, reflected in the tyres, which are designed to provide sporty handling alongside driving comfort, and improved grip alongside durability.
A successor to the Hankook Ventus R-s3 UHP range has been launched in Australia, and Hankook Tyre Australia says the new Ventus R-s4 semi-slick has been “designed with maximised grip, durability, and handling performance,” making it “perfect for both track and general driving.”